If you know anything about Indian roads, like I do, you’ll get it an instant that a restaurant named Horn Please will have something special on offer. Just like the name, everything else about the restaurant is unique in a very Indian way. With my hopes too high after the first impression, it seemed that the best part about the restaurant was over, but I was wrong. As you walk past a white wall with a montage of a man’s life, you start to wonder whether it is the right ambience or not and what is the purpose of such a welcome. But with the whole décor, the presentation and the montage, it seems evident that the restaurant is welcoming you into its own cosy little world.
While the ambience did its “welcome to our world” job quite well, the short menu caught me by surprise, a pleasant one. Finally a place which has something other than the same clichéd Indian curries. While you read the menu on the back of a plate which has a portrait of a newly wedded couple from the 60s on the other side, a rustic but exciting feeling kicks in. You just cannot resist the idea of tasting Papdi Chaat, the Indian version of nachos. As it arrives on the table, you can see the simple ingredients of this scrumptious snack. A delectable mixture of sliced onion, pomegranate seeds, chickpeas and crisp Papdi, dripped in the essence of street food, Tarkeeli Chutney; it makes for a crunchy delight. Of course you can add curd to the mix to absorb the crunch and another colour to the mix. If you want to spice things up a bit, you’ll find a fiery partner at the table in the form of Pune special hot sauce.
The main-course section is not limited to curries from North India. You can see a vivid range of curries from Madras to the flamboyant Punjab cuisine. An intriguing mixture of Prawns and Punjabi cooking inevitably became my choice and it turned out to be more than just intriguing, it was scintillating. Seriously, you can’t expect anything less from a combination of King Prawns and Kadhi Chawal. With the warm ambience and the spicy food, you take the humble service of the place for granted. Good food just gets better when it is served with a pleasant smile. And if you are not sipping Sauvignon Blanc in this setting, you are missing the punch. Alcohol lifts the spicy taste of the preparation, taking the experience a couple of notches higher.
I always wondered why the best thing is always reserved for last. I got my answer when I was presented with the most authentic Kulfi around. The smoothness of honey and the aroma of cinnamon, instantly transports to you an Indian household. This homemade ice cream deserves a place in your stomach, any or every time you are here.
When I stepped out of this place, not only my stomach, but my mind was filled with content, not just because of the quality of food, but because of the idea behind it all, presenting the ‘Indian dining’ experience the way it is, simple and delicious.